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Palma Cathedral's history | complete guide

Palma Cathedral, also known as La Seu, is a magnificent Gothic structure situated in Palma, Mallorca, renowned for its stunning architecture and historical significance. Construction began in the 13th century. It took over 300 years to complete, read on to learn more!

Palma Cathedral timeline

1230: Bishop Pere de Morella consecrates the altar stone of the main altar, marking the beginning of the construction.

1276–1311: The construction of the building as we know it began during the reign of James II (1276-1311).

1498: Palma Cathedral’s Bell Tower, featuring nine bells, was completed in 1498.

15th century: Work on the Cathedral was concluded in the 15th century.

Early 16th century: Construction of the choir enclosure in the main nave begins.

17th - 18th centuries: Emergence of Baroque elements inside the Cathedral, such as altarpieces, paintings, and sculptures. Notable additions include the Corpus Christi altarpiece, the cloister, and the new chapterhouse.

19th century: Palma Cathedral’s main facade was damaged due to the earthquake of 1851. Madrid architect Juan Bautista Peyronnet led the restoration efforts.

Early 20th century: Architect Antoni Gaudi adapts the Cathedral's inner space to meet new liturgical requirements, including the restoration of the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.

Construction of Palma Cathedral

The construction of Palma Cathedral begun in 1230 under King James II (1276-1311), the cathedral took over three centuries to complete. Renowned architects like Pere Morey contributed to its original Gothic design. Renowned Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi added modern elements to it following the earthquake of 1851, Gaudi added his modernist touch during the restoration.

Today, Palma Cathedral stands as a quintessential example of Gothic architecture, featuring a soaring nave and intricate stained glass windows. It is home to one of the world's largest rose windows. The cathedral's blend of Gothic and Gaudi's Art Nouveau styles creates a unique and captivating architectural masterpiece.

Palma Cathedral today

Palma Cathedral today

Palma Cathedral, a cherished symbol of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, is a Gothic masterpiece and a revered place of worship that attracts visitors from around the globe. This centuries-old structure showcases a rich history and diverse architectural styles, including contributions from Antoni Gaudi's modernist movement. Beyond its architectural splendor, the cathedral offers insights into the city's culture and heritage, making it a must-visit destination in Spain.

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Palma Cathedral & Old Town Guided Tour
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Frequently asked questions about Palma Cathedral's history

What is the historical significance of Palma Cathedral?

Palma Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in Europe. It was constructed over three centuries, with the cathedral finished in the 16th century.

What are some unique architectural features of Palma Cathedral?

Palma Cathedral is renowned for its soaring nave, intricate stained glass windows, and one of the world's largest rose windows adorned with elaborate tracery. The cathedral blends Gothic and modernist styles, particularly evident in Gaudi's contributions.

Why is Palma Cathedral also known as "La Seu"?

Palma Cathedral is referred to as "La Seu," a term derived from the Catalan word for "seat," indicating its status as the seat of the diocese.

Are there any royal connections associated with Palma Cathedral?

Yes, the cathedral's Royal Chapel houses the tombs of monarchs from the Royal House of Mallorca, highlighting its historical connection to the local monarchy.

What is the historical context in which Palma Cathedral was created?

Palma Cathedral stands on the land that once housed Madina Mayurqa. It was knocked down by King I of Aragon to build a large temple for Queen Mary.

What role did Bishop Pere Joan Campins play in the history of Palma Cathedral?

Bishop Pere Joan Campins played a crucial role in the early 20th century by promoting Antoni Gaudí's architectural interventions, which modernized the cathedral's interior to better accommodate liturgical and pastoral needs.